Image: Nintendo Life

Nintendo has announced that it will be resuming online play for Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon for the Wii U after commencing emergency maintenance back in March 2023. Both games will be back online from August 3rd, 2023.

The titles were taken offline entirely after a potentially severe vulnerability was identified during online game sessions. As previously reported, this vulnerability was likely to be an exploit known as 'ENLBufferPwn', which effectively allowed attackers to gain access to victims' consoles via remote control.

Thankfully, with Nintendo now bringing the games back online, it seems that the vulnerability has been fixed. It should be noted, however, that should any further issues arise with online play, Nintendo may discontinue the service entirely (which seems like an inevitability eventually, anyway). Other affected games that were identified back in December 2022 include Nintendo Switch Sports, Splatoon 3, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but all issues have since been resolved.

The exploit itself involved an attacker copying what's known as return-oriented programming (ROP) payload and executing it remotely, thus forcing the victim console to forcibly run a custom firmware installer, allowing the attacker to gain immediate access to sensitive information. This was completed during online sessions and, according to a video demonstration, could be executed in less than a minute.

So while the downtime might have proven frustrating for those of you who still play Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon online, it's undoubtedly preferable to having your information stolen remotely.

Will you be diving back into these Wii U titles now that they're back online, or have you left them to gather dust? Let us know in the comments below.